Program Approval

Overview

Connecticut educator preparation regulations require State Board of Education (SBE) approval of new educator preparation providers (EPPs) and programs leading to Connecticut educator certification. Once approved, Connecticut EPPs must seek continuing approval for programs every seven years. New program approval and continuing approval procedures are described below.

New Program Approval

Connecticut EPPs or other organizations are encouraged to develop and seek approval for new educator preparation programs that (1) address shortage area needs as reported by the CSDE and/or align with goals defined in the Connecticut State Board of Education (SBE) Five-Year Comprehensive Plan, 2016-21.

Additionally, Connecticut EPPs or other organizations seeking approval for new programs are encouraged to collaborate and/or form consortiums with other Connecticut EPPs already approved by the SBE for a program or programs indicated in the new program proposal. For example, an EPP could collaborate with another EPP for candidate access to existing courses or shared staffing of faculty.

Please note that Connecticut regulations preclude EPPs or organizations seeking approval for new programs from advertising, accepting applications for, or admitting candidates into any program that has not approved by the SBE. Upon SBE approval, a new program may begin advertising, accepting applications for, and admitting candidates.

The steps and approximate timeline for the review and evaluation of new program proposals are as follow:

Step 1: Submission and Review of the Educator Preparation Pre-Proposal Application

Please complete and submit the Educator Preparation Pre-Proposal Application electronically to Lauren Tafrate, CSDE Program Approval Coordinator at lauren.tafrate@ct.gov. Upon review and approval of the Pre-Proposal Application, the EPP or organization will be notified and required to submit a complete program proposal to the CSDE for review and evaluation.

Timeline

Notification regarding the status of the Pre-Proposal Application will occur approximately two weeks after the submission date of the application.

Step 2: Submission and Initial Review of the Educator Preparation New Program Proposal Application

Upon notification of the approval of the Pre-Proposal Application, please complete the Educator Preparation New Program Proposal Application. The Proposal Application with supporting materials may be:

  • Submitted electronically to Lauren Tafrate, CSDE Program Approval Coordinator, at lauren.tafrate@ct.gov.
  • Located in an electronic exhibit room created by the EPP or organization.
  • Mailed to Lauren Tafrate, CSDE Program Approval Coordinator, at CSDE Talent Office, 450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06103.

The proposal will be reviewed for completeness and cohesiveness. Based upon initial review findings, the proposal will either go back to the EPP or organization for revisions or move to the evaluation team for review.

Timeline

Notification regarding the status of the Educator Preparation New Program Proposal Application initial review will occur approximately two weeks after the submission date of the application.

Step 3: Evaluation Team Review

A team of content area experts reviews the proposal and required materials using the Educator Preparation Program Proposal Evaluation Instrument. Based upon team evaluation findings, the proposal will either go back to the EPP or organization for revisions or move forward to the CSDE Review Committee for consideration.

Timeline

An Evaluation Team Feedback Report will be completed approximately two months after the submission date of the proposal application.

Step 4: CSDE Review Committee Recommendation.

The CSDE Review Committee, consisting of 12 members representing Connecticut EPPs, K-12 schools, and communities, reviews the evaluation team findings and makes a recommendation to the Commissioner of Education regarding approval.

Timeline

The Review Committee meets four times during an academic year. Meeting dates are issued the spring before each academic year, so that EPPs and organizations can coordinate proposal applications appropriately.

Step 5: State Board of Education Approval

The Commissioner of Education reviews the Review Committee recommendation. If the Commissioner approves the recommendation, the proposal will go to the SBE Policy and Legislative Subcommittee for initial consideration one month and to the full SBE meeting for final voting regarding approval the following month.

Timeline

Proposals typically go to the SBE subcommittee meeting approximately one month after a Review Committee meeting and to the full board for final approval approximately two months after a Review Committee meeting.

Continuing Program Approval

On March 7, 2012, the SBE approved a resolution to establish the Educator Preparation Advisory Council (EPAC) to work with the CSDE Talent Office on the transformation of Connecticut’s system for the continuing approval of educator preparation programs. The continuing approval requirements described below are based upon EPAC recommendations and a series of legislative mandates.

All Connecticut EPPs, including alternate route to certification (ARC) programs, are required to be nationally accredited through the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and host a CAEP, on-site visit every seven years to determine reaccreditation status. Currently, state program approval is based upon accreditation findings from the CAEP on-site visit. The CSDE Review Committee, consisting of 12 members representing Connecticut EPPs, K-12 schools, and communities, makes recommendations to the SBE regarding continuing approval based on CAEP accreditation findings using criteria describing four categories of approval: full, provisional, probationary and denial of approval.

In October, 2021 the SBE approved using the final CAEP accreditation decision based on CAEP site visits every seven yeas to determine state continuing approval. In January 2022, in collaboration with the AACTE subcommittee, SDE finalized program approval methodology.

CAEP ACCREDITATION AND STATE PROGRAM APPROVAL ALIGNMENT
CAEP ACCREDITATION DECISION CATEGORIES STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION (SBE) PROGRAM APPROVAL DECISION CATEGORIES REVIEW COMMITTEE RECCOMENDATION REVIEW COMMITTEE PROGRESS MONITORING
Accreditation for seven (7) years
Accreditation for seven (7) years is granted if the EPP meets all CAEP Standards and components, even if areas for improvement (AFIs) are identified in the final report of the Accreditation Council.
Grant full program approval for 7 yrs, or for a period of time to bring the program into alignment with 7-yr. approval cycle. The Board may require that an interim report be submitted to the Department, on a date set by the Board, prior to the end of the approval period. Full Program Approval RC may review annual CAEP Staff Review Reports between visits.
Accreditation with Stipulations granted for two years
Accreditation with Stipulation(s) is granted for two (2) years if an EPP receives one (1) or more stipulations and all CAEP standards are met. A targeted response to the stipulations(s) must be submitted by the EPP and is reviewed by a two-to three-person virtual evaluation team. The resulting Site Review Report is submitted to the Accreditation Council for review and consideration for stipulation removal.
Grant provisional approval for a time period not to exceed 2 years, if substantial non-compliance with current standards is identified. The institution shall submit to the Review Committee, on a date set by the Board, a written report which addresses the professional education unit’s progress in meeting the standards which were not fully met. Provisional Approval CAEP Site Review Report
RC may review annual CAEP Staff Review Report
Probationary Accreditation granted for two years
Probationary accreditation is granted for two (2) years when an EPP does not meet one (1) of the CAEP Standards. Failure to submit a response to the stipulation within a two (2)-year time frame results in automatic revocation. Failure to correct the condition leading to the stipulation within the specified two (2)-year period results in revocation. A targeted response to the stipulations must be submitted by the EPP and is reviewed by a two-to three-person virtual evaluation team. The resulting Site Review Report is submitted to the Accreditation Council for review and consideration for stipulation removal.
Grant probationary approval for a time period not to exceed 2 years, if significant and far-reaching non-compliance with current standards is identified. The institution shall submit to the Review Committee, on a date set by the Board, a written report which addresses the professional education unit’s progress in meeting the standards which were not fully met. Probationary Approval CAEP Site Review Report
RC may review annual CAEP Staff Review Report
Revocation (for Continuing) or Denial (for Initial) Revocation or Denial of accreditation occurs if an EPP does not meet two (2) or more of the CAEP Standards. In a case where accreditation is revoked or denied, the EPP can begin the application process after one (1) year from the date of the final decision. Deny approval.
In a case where SBE approval is revoked or denied, the EPP can begin the application process after one (1) year from the date of the final decision./td>
Deny Approval N/A

Please note that Connecticut ARC programs leading to cross endorsement for educators already holding a Connecticut teaching certification are not required to become nationally accredited by CAEP, with the exception of Connecticut ARC programs for advanced reading. These ARC programs are required to submit program curricula, key assessments and three years of candidate performance data from key assessments for review and evaluation by the CSDE for continuing approval consideration every seven years. The report submission may include an on-site visit by the state.

Alternate Route to Certification (ARC) Cross Endorsement Program Report Form